Loss: His Constant Companion

The family of Senator Edward M. Kennedy announced that he has a malignant brain tumor the other day and my heart bled for his family. All politics aside, this man first and foremost loves his family. In 1968, at the age of 36 he took over the role of surrogate father to his slain brothers 13 children. He never missed a communion, a graduation, or a wedding. And he sadly presided over the funerals of not only his brothers but of his nephews. David A Kennedy, Michael Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr. He held the hands of his sisters and sister in laws as they faced their tragedies.

To hear Caroline Kennedy speak of her Uncle Ted, you get a glimpse into the heart of the man not the politician. She said that no matter where they all were in their respective lives, their Uncle was there for all of them every step of the way. He guided them and loved them unconditionally.

The Senator once responded to a reporter's question on how he lives with so many heartbreaking tragedies in his life that are almost as if “Loss were his constant companion" and he stated “You try to live with the upsides of life and muffle down the sadness”

Now it is his extended family’s turn to be there for him every step of the way.


A Gaffe is Just a Gaffe

So Barack called a reporter "Sweetie" as he swam upstream through the crowds. The WXYZ reporter, Peggy Agar pushed in with a microphone and shouted her question which replied to using the word "Sweetie".

How vile, how sexist, what a little misogynist we have here! NOT!!! It would be more of a gaffe than an attack on the feminine sensibilities of the reporter.

I have a lot of respect for Obama that he even thought it was necessary to give a call to Ms. Agar immediately to apologize for not giving her an answer and apologizing for his use of the evil word "sweetie".

It was a slip of the tongue, a fall back under stress into familiar language we use with family. Not an attack on her "sweetie-hood". Although listening to the You Tube broadcast and her downright spitting the word sweetie, she does not sound too sweet.

So, I have one thing to say to Ms. Agar the reporter in the Station WXYZ report:
Lighten Up Honey!


Diagnosis Number 5 : Sick Girl

I was sitting in my Rheumatologist’s waiting yet again for a diagnosis to the latest weird pain and I happened upon a book from Amy Silverstein called Sick Girl and it spoke volumes to me for I too am a Sick Girl. Now beleaguered with diagnosis number 5, I am struggling with how this is affecting my life.

My life for the past 12 years has been a painful journey into discovering strength in myself as well as garnering the ability to steel myself against the inevitable withdrawal of support from a friend.

In Sick Girl, the author spoke of friends drifting away and the excuses were text book standards such as “I can’t stand seeing you this way” to just drifting out of a Sick Girls’s life. First come the non-answered phone messages to lack of emails to finally no contact at all.

So why do friends that at one time were chatting us up at the latest hotspot to being non-existent in your life? I can only assume that the reason is fear of their own mortality. I see that in some friends faces, I am a mirror to what could happen to them.

Because of this I find myself becoming cold to some people. I have stopped letting people into my life because I do not want to eventually see them go. I hate discussing my illnesses. I cringe at the pity in their sympathetic head nods and sometimes I feel like a fool because I just can’t do all the fun stuff anymore.

It is a fact in my life that because of my illnesses I tend to isolate myself because I do not want the pity. I do not want to see the fear in people’s eyes. And I certainly do not want the question “But how can you be sick? You look so normal” I also do not want to hear statements such as “Your medication is making you wacky.”

But am I a equally guilty participant in this mass exodus of friends? Of course I am. I struggle so hard to not appear sick. I want my circle of friends to think I can accomplish anything. But most of all, I want to not let my illnesses to overtake my life. But it does at times overwhelm me then I hide away and at times push people away.

Even tonight as I write, I wonder who is next to leave my life. I can only add some words of wisdom from a Sick Girl. Friend,I am really trying to hold myself together so please don’t leave this Sick Girl in your life. The struggle to appear normal is a daily achievement for me, I just do not want my illness to be center stage.

Do I sound defeated? Maybe but I am not. Do I dismiss those that care too easily? I know that you care but I do not want illness to define me. I want to let you know that just because I am a sick girl and I take 15 meds daily and I get tired easily, I want to hear about your life. Your friendship allows me to take a break from myself.

Please Stay.


Setting Myself Up

I live in this little fantasy world that upon awakening on the Holy Grail of Hallmark holidays, the doorbell rings and when I open the door my three sons stand on my stoop beaming with their surprise and their arms laden with flowers, boxes of candy and cards that would make a UFC fighter weep. As I usher them into my spotless living room, I remove my apron which is covered in flour because I have been baking cookies and I am swept away to a fabulous twenty five course brunch all along wearing a orchid corsage that my loving boys have presented to me.

Reality check! First I do not own an apron, I burn cookies and most Mother’s Day I have a running bet with myself of which child will forget that this is supposed to be “My” day! I constantly set myself up for disappointment every year. I think that maybe this year will be different instead of realizing that I take the blame for raising three very independent workaholics that usually by 5pm their time zone they realize that oops! Forgot to call. Sigh………

This year was somewhat of a surprise to me. Tim sent a card that arrived “before” Mother’s Day, he also called me at 10am this morning beating out my special son Robert, who I can count on calling at 6am to one up the other boys on timeliness. Steven called late in the afternoon, saying the only reason he remembered is that he said Happy Mother’s Day to 150 souls that ventured in his restaurant with their own orchid laden Moms in tow. Ashley got me a cuter then peaches card with a gift certificate to Borders Josh is MIA. Three out of Four ain’t bad.

So reviewing my Mothers Day it was actually pretty good this year. Although the skies decided that raining torrentially on my newly planted hostas was a good idea and my Doc thought this would be a good day to try out a new medication on his own personal guinea pig (Me!) which made me almost want to snooze into my Chicken Fajitas and I left my cell phone in the rain which rendered it only good to get messages, I would say that I had a decent Mom’s Day.

So do I really want the fantasy? Well kinda yeah. The fantasy ala Donna Reed is not a bad one. But I suppose I should be content with what I do receive on this day. Despite being pharmceutically comatose and a little sad, I do dream that one day ALL the boys will be home, that I can gather them in my arms and tell them I love them.

Today of all days and holidays in the year, I miss them more than ever.

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